Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins watched the game from the bench in street clothes. The team had trouble finding any continuity and chemistry in the first and fourth quarters. In the first quarter, Philly outscored Boston 25-15 and in the 4th quarter Philly outscored Boston 23-15. They played even in the second and third quarters. The shooting was way off and as a team they shot only 38% for the game. Doc started a lineup of Posey, Scal, Powe, Ray Allen and Rondo with all but Powe playing close to 30 minutes or more.
There were two very bright spots in this game. The first was Tony Allen. Tony came off the bench to play 19 minutes and looked as though he is making great progress getting back to his old self. He slashed to the basket and didn't shy away from contact. I have no doubt that he will help the team this year. Tony finished with 7 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists and was very active on both ends of the court. Seeing him slash to the basket was a very welcome sight.
The other bright spot was the play of Rajon Rondo. Rondo was the leading rebounder with 8 and seemed to be everywhere on the court on both offense and defense. He finished with 10 points (5-13), 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. He drove to the basket it seemed at will. It is exciting to see him play and improve with every game. Rondo was awarded the Tommy Award for his efforts.
Scal played 33 minutes and finished with 8 points on 3-10 shooint to go with 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Scal will be a good role player on this team for 15 mpg but hopefully we will not have to see him play 33 minutes during the season. Posey played a team high 35 minutes and finished with 12 points (3-10), 5 rebounds and 1 assist. Powe played only 21 minutes and finished with 5 points, 7 rebounds and 1 block. Powe took a couple of hard charges and was very active defensively as well as on the boards. The team never went to him in the post and the only touches he got around the basket were from offensive rebounds. The picture below shows the effort and determination of Leon Powe as he battles the 7' Smith for a rebound.
I have a feeling that Eddie House is going to be a streak shooter. When he is on, he is right on. When he is off, he is really off. He shot 2-9 for 5 points to go with 1 rebound and 1 assist. Sharing the point guard duties, Pruitt finished with 4 points and 1 rebound. Pruitt is going to be a good PG but needs more experience. He may benefit from a stay in the D League this season.
Big Baby made an impression with some strong moves around the basket and he finished with 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 steal. The players still on the bubble got some playing time with Jones leading the way with 2 points and 1 steal in 12 minutes of play. Manuel and Wallace both came in for 6 minutes with Manuel giving out 1 assist and grabbing 1 steal and Wallace getting 1 rebound. Of the 3, I like Wallace and think he has the biggest upside. He also would benefit from some time in the D League but I think he is worth hanging on to.
If nothing else, this should be a sobering reminder of what could happen if the Celtics should suffer injuries to Pierce or Garnett and Perk this season. This team is going to be something very special if they can stay healthy but it is pretty scary to think about what could happen if the injury bug hits the team this season.
No one shot the ball well tonight and hopefully it will be rare when every player has an off night. Powe was 2-2 inside but they didn't go to him at all in the post. It is a reality check to realize that our bench still needs work so that they can hold the leads that our starters will most assuredly build. Let's hope that this also makes Doc realize that he needs to set a rotation and stick with it so that the players can build some continuity.